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Reviews > Shelters > Hammocks > SLD Streamliner DL > Owner Review by Kurt Papke

Simply Light Designs Streamliner DL Hammock

Owner Review by Kurt Papke
February 14, 2015

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Email address: kwpapke at gmail dot com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona USA

My backpacking venues have included a combination of Minnesota hikes where I have lived most of my adult life, and Arizona trails, where I moved to take a new job about five years ago.  I have always been a "comfort-weight" backpacker, never counting grams, but still keeping my pack as light as easily attained.  I have been a hammock camper for eight years, though I still sleep on the ground when I must.

Product Information

sl01

Manufacturer
Simply Light Designs
Model
Streamliner DL
Year of manufacture
2014
MSRP
US $107.26 (as configured and accessorized)
Manufacturer website
http://www.simplylightdesigns.com/
Color
Digital Marpat Woodland Camo
Also available: Coyote Brown, Foliage Grey, Light Forest Green, Black, Multicam, Firetruck Red, White
Weight
Listed: 14.5-15.5 oz (411-439 g), note that the weight will vary depending on hammock length, fabric type, suspension and accessories selected
Measured weight: 16.4 oz (466 g) including all options (suspension, ridgeline, organizer and stuff sack)
Weight rating
250 lbs (113 kg).  With quilts, clothing, etc. I probably approach the weight rating, so this configuration is pretty optimal for me.
Dimensions
Listed: length = 11 ft (3.35 m), width = 50 in (127 cm)
Measured: length = 10.5 ft (3.20 m), width = 50 in (127 cm) at center
It was difficult to fully stretch out the hammock flat to measure the length, as it was cut and sewn for a curved position.  I'm thinking the difference between listed and measured length is within my measurement error.
Materials
1.1 oz Ripstop nylon
Also available in 1.6 oz and 1.9 oz ripstop

Manufacturer's listed features include:
  • Double fabric layers for strength and to allow pad to be inserted between layers for warmth.
  • Catenary curve cuts to both the ends and sides for taut hang: lessens calf ridge and minimizes "walled in" effect.
  • Double rolled & sewn hem for durability.
  • Sewn channel at each end, wide enough to accommodate webbing suspensions - flexibility of suspension choice and replacement.
  • Pad openings between the layers for easy placement.
  • Many optional features.

This is my third hammock.  My first two units have integrated bug nets, which I have found to be unnecessary in Arizona, so I wanted to eliminate the extra weight.  As mentioned in my bio, I am a big guy and I was looking to try out one of the longer hammocks that have arrived on the market since my last acquisition.  I also wanted to try out some of the new suspension ideas, such as a Whoopie Sling.

Simply Light Designs is an Idaho-based cottage industry player in the backpacking gear world.  They have innovative designs, but allow an amazing amount of customization in the ordered product.  My unit was ordered with the following options:

  1. Streamliner DL model with catenary cut and double fabric layer.  I wanted the double-layered design as I occasionally use a sleeping pad beneath me for warmth, and a pad stays in place better in a double-layer hammock.
  2. 6 ft (183 cm) Whoopie Slings for easy adjustment of the suspension length.
  3. Adjustable ridgeline: allows tuning of the distance between the hang points, i.e. the amount of "sag" in the hammock.
  4. 1.1 oz fabric.
  5. 11 ft (3.35 m) length, this is a foot (0.3 m) longer than my longest prior hammock.
  6. Black silnylon double-ended stuff sack.
  7. Mesh ridgeline organizer to hold a headlamp, book, watch, etc. within easy reach.

Test Conditions

Some pictures of the Simply Light Streamliner DL on the trail
sl02
sl03
sl04
sl05
sl06
sl07

For most of the last year I have used this hammock with a pair of 3-season Jacks-R-Better quilts: Mt Washington 3 underquilt, and a Sierra Sniveler top quilt. I have also used it with a Thermarest pad combined with a Multimat (see my review of the Multimat on BackpackGearTest.org).

This is a brief listing of backpacking trips and usage of the hammock, all of which are in the USA:

Date
Location
Trail
Under Insulation

Weather
Altitude
January 11-12, 2014 Santa Catalina Mtns, near Tucson, Arizona   

Romero Canyon Quilt
Sunny, 30-70 F
(-1-21 C)
2600-5200 ft
(790-1580 m) 
January 19-20, 2014       

Santa Catalina Mtns, near Tucson, Arizona Sutherland Trail Quilt
Hazy, 40-65 F
(4-18 C)   
2600-6600 ft
(790-2010 m)
February 7-9, 2014 Grand Canyon National Park Grandview Loop
Pad
Mix of sun and clouds, 25-60 F
(-4-16 C)
7300-3700 ft
(2220-1130 m)
April 5-6, 2014
Santa Catalina Mtns, near Tucson, Arizona Romero Canyon Quilt
Sunny, 38-68 F
(3-20 C)
2600-4800 ft
(790-1460 m)
August 9-10, 2014

Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona Samaniego Ridge Quilt
55-75 F
(13-24 C)
Sunny, dry
7700-9100 ft
(2350-2770 m)
August 16-17, 2014
Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona
Romero Canyon Quilt
65-95 F
(18-35 C)
Humid, overnight rainstorms
2600-4020 ft
(790-1225 m)
October 16-19, 2014


Gila Wilderness, near Glenwood New Mexico San Francisco Hot Spring and Box Canyon Quilt
Mixed rain showers and sun, 32-75 F
(0-24 C)
4600-7200 ft
(1400-2200 m)
November 13-14, 2014
Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson Arizona
Romero Canyon Quilt
Sunny, 40-75 F
(4-24 C)
2800-4500 ft
(790-1370 m)
December 7-9, 2014
Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountains, near Tucson Arizona
Tanque Verde Ridge Quilt
Hazy sun, 40-75 F
(4-24 C)
3120-7050 ft
(950-2150 m)
January 24-25, 2015 Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountains, near Tucson, Arizona Italian Spring
Quilt
32-65 F
(0-18 C)
Very windy
4000-8560 ft
(1219-2609 m)

Outcomes and Experiences on the Trail

I have come to really enjoy and appreciate the simplicity and comfort of this hammock over the last year.  I like being able to get in and out without unzipping a bug net.  The hammock is compact and lightweight in my pack.  Setup is a breeze: just string up the tree straps, attach the suspension loops, done. Of course attaching and tweaking the quilt setup is a whole other kettle of fish, but that is not an attribute of the hammock.  Under-insulation setup with pads is trivial: just slide them into the opening, adjust to the desired position.

The salient features of this hammock are the catenary cut and the length.  I have really enjoyed the extra length and cut of this hammock - it really does take away the typical calf pressure that is often felt in a hammock shelter.  The catenary cut does create *very* rigid sides.  This has several implications:

  1. There is some pressure on the underside of the legs getting in and out of the hammock.
  2. Sleeping on the diagonal is not easy.   A slight diagonal lay is possible, but not to the extent feasible in a hammock without the catenary design.
  3. Sitting perpendicular to the hammock length is not comfortable.  This is not an issue for me as I rarely sit in my hammock.
  4. The view is fabulous.  I can see almost directly out to the sides, and if I need more of a view a little tug with my hand and I can look straight out to the side.

Other features of the Streamliner DL that can be found on many brands of hammocks include:

  1. Adjustable ridgeline.  This is basically a ridgeline on a Prussic knot.  This has worked out nicely - I tuned it to my desired tension the first few outings, and have not touched it since.
  2. Whoopie Sling suspension: these make tuning the suspension length to accommodate various distances between trees a breeze.  The distance can also be adjusted by varying the attachment point to the tree straps, but it is nice to have this option.
  3. Ridgeline organizer.  This is basically a small pouch that rides on the ridgeline.  I have not been a big fan of the design of this organizer: it doesn't like to stay in place, the two attachment points slide together, and it is a little too small for my Kindle.

The only issue I have had with the hammock was on my last trip to Romero canyon.  I was taking the hammock out of the stuff sack, and inadvertently pulled on the Whoopie Sling adjustment and pulled the entire loop into the cable.  There originally were beads attached to the loop to prevent this from happening, but somewhere along the way I managed to shatter the beads on both loops.

I contacted Simply Light Designs and described the issue and offered to buy a new set of Whoopie Slings, but they were kind enough to send me a new pair without charge.  This was above and beyond what I could expect in this situation, so hats off to their customer service.

Summary

My bottom line is I am a happy camper.  I intend to continue to use the Streamliner DL as my go-to sleeping system for all backpacking trips in the future where hammock camping is feasible.

Good Things

  • Highly configurable at time of purchase.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Reliable, durable.
  • Light weight in comparison to my tent and my other two hammocks.
  • Attractive: this is my first piece of camo gear, and I like it.
  • Flexibility: I like the ability to use a pad underneath.  For instance on my Grand Canyon trip I only used the hammock one night and slept on the ground the second night.
  • Comfortable: I like the leg support from the long hammock length.
  • I like the great view from the hammock.

Areas for potential improvement

  • More durable beads on the Whoopie Slings.
  • Larger ridgeline organizer that stays in place.
  • Perhaps tune the amount of the catenary cut to allow a more diagonal lay.  I understand some customers have asked the manufacturer to catenary cut only one side to allow a sitting position.



Read more reviews of Simply Light Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke

Reviews > Shelters > Hammocks > SLD Streamliner DL > Owner Review by Kurt Papke



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